Over 350,000 people in Delhi aged between 15 and 18 years have been administered the Covid-19 vaccine, showed state government data, as senior health officials said they expect to cover the city’s estimated one million teenagers in this age bracket by the first week of February, if they all come forward to get the jab.
The Delhi government data shows that the city has vaccinated 352,437 beneficiaries in the 15-18 age group between January 3, when the Centre started immunising teens, and January 11.
The pace of vaccinations has also picked up significantly since day one, showed state government data.
Over 21,029 shots were administered on January 3, which went up to 33,238 shots the next day. By January 7, the number of vaccine doses administered in a day reached 57,815.
Senior health department officials said they aim to continue the momentum over the coming weeks, and their estimates are that at the current rate, Delhi could vaccinate at least half of the eligible teenagers in the group by next week. Delhi has so far immunised 35% of its 1.01 million residents between aged 15 and 17.
“We have made our estimates based on the assumption that 100% of eligible teenagers in this age category will get vaccinated. The initial assessment shows that we will vaccinate 50% youngsters by next week and will have administered the first doses to all eligible teenagers by the first week of February,” a senior health official said.
According to the central Children have so far been administered Covaxin doses across at least 159 centres in the city.
Government officials asked all district magistrates to encourage all eligible residents in their jurisdictions to come forward and get the jabs, with many officials reaching out to people on WhatsApp and social media.
Experts also stressed the need to immunise children as soon as possible.
Dr PK Sharma, epidemiologist and advisor (public health) with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), said, “Teenagers should get themselves vaccinated at the earliest in order to have some protection against the virus. I would also advise all parents to stress on getting their younger children vaccinated as and when the government makes provisions for it.”